Keith's note: I just learned that my long time friend Bob Phillips has died. Bob was one of the original crew members selected for the Spacelab mission which eventually became SLS-1. He was disqualified a few years after selection for medical reasons but continued to work on the mission. Indeed, if you look at the STS-40 mission patch you will see that the stars representing the crew members forms a "P" in his honor. I got to know Bob very well over the years via the ASGSB (now ASGSR) and worked closely with him on the Space Station Freedom Program where he served as Chief Scientist. Indeed, shortly before I decided to leave NASA I had been given permission to serve as his deputy. We wrote this paper together at one point. When you look at what happens on the ISS today, you can thank Bob for helping make that science happen at a time when science was not a priority.
Anyone who knew Bob will tell you that he was just always a pleasure to be around. He was a veterinarian by training, so he had learned a wide range of skills dealing with animals that also seemed to work on people too - sometimes. I don't think he ever got mad since he was almost always smiling. He told lots of bad jokes, and always tried to help others get through the problems that piled up on their desk. Simply put Bob was a genuinely nice person in a world where there are never enough nice people. He will be missed. Ad Astra, Bob.
Robert "Bob" Phillips, Colorado State University